Estonia hails use of education data as example for other OECD countries
The Ministry of Education and Research is sharing its experience on the use of the Estonian Education Information System with education experts from OECD countries at an international conference that is in its second day in Tallinn today.
Minister of Education and Research Jevgeni Ossinovski, who opened the conference, said he was happy that Estonia’s education data register has earned international recognition and that others are willing to learn from the country's experience. “Having actual data in real time means everyone’s able to make better decisions when they’re needed in education management, whether they’re teachers, school directors, local governments or the ministry,” he said.
According to Aune Valk, the head of the ministry’s Analysis Department, the personalized data in the system is mainly used in making financing decisions. “Using the solutions offered by the X-road to submit data to state agencies or credit institutions enables to offer needs-based study allowances, for example, or to apply for a student loan or activate an ID ticket discount without the person applying having to get a verification document from their education institution,” she said.
The information system at www.ehis.ee represents a form of cooperation with other registers that is unique, Estonian officials say. This cooperation enables a number of services to be offered automatically.The Estonian Education Information System is linked to more than 20 other information systems, with around 45 services connected to the register. The register gathers information both in real time and at periodic intervals about all of the education institutions, students, teachers and lecturers, graduation documents, textbooks and curricula in Estonia. It is used and updated by 2000 institutions connected to the field of education.
Those attending the OECD conference will be debating how education data supports and influences the management of education. The keynote speaker at the event is Marc Tucker, president of National Center of Education and Economy in the US. He also advises the US federal government on education.
The OECD conference ‘Education governance: The role of data’ is being held on February 12-13 at Nordic Hotel Forum in Tallinn. It is being attended by nearly 100 representatives from different countries and international organizations.